The Natural History Museum's Big Nature Day was certainly a big success last weekend for visitors and organisers.
More than 5,000 visitors came to the free event, the largest of its kind in the UK, to have fun and learn about the importance of the natural world.
50 nature groups, as well as Museum scientists, meant the event was filled with experts on a huge variety of topics, from beetles and fossils to birds and bats.
Visitors learnt how to make bug hotels, bird boxes, nettle tea and attract stag beetles in the sunny venue of the Darwin Centre courtyard and the more shady Wildlife Garden. 100s of children made insect hats and took part in a popular insect carnival.
The event also saw the launch of a new resource pack for the Cub Scout Naturalist Activity Badge, developed by the Museum, The Wildlife Trusts and the National Trust. The cubs undertook activities included worm charming, pond dipping, bug hunts and tree surveys and were awarded their badge on the day.
‘My favourite activity was the pond dipping. I learnt a lot about different insects living in the pond and I have learnt to like bugs a little more after today,’ says Izzie from the 9th Chelsea Cub group.
The Big Nature Day was also a celebration of the achievements of the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) programme and a call for more people to get involved in exploring nature and caring for the environment. OPAL is an England-wide initiative where scientists work with the public on national surveys to study biodiversity, air, water, soil and climate quality.
Big Nature Day is the Museum’s annual celebration of the variety of nature, in recognition of the UN International Day of Biological Diversity.